sjbarracuda.com photo: San Jose Barracuda Marcus Sorenson (20) waits for a pass while being defended by the Tucson Roadrunners Brandon Burlow (7) and goalie Adam Hill (31) during Sunday’s game at SAP Center
By Ana Kieu
SAN JOSE–The San Jose Barracuda beat the Tucson Roadrunners 5-2 at SAP Center on Saturday afternoon.
The Barracuda wore their alternate orange jerseys at Pucks & Princesses day in the Shark Tank. Fans dressed up as their favorite princesses, took pictures with various princesses and enjoyed princess themed in-game entertainment. They faced the Roadrunners for the first time since the exhibition game on Oct. 6. Mantas Armalis and Justin Peters were the starting goaltenders.
The Barracuda scored three goals in the opening nine minutes of the first period.
Colin Blackwell started the scoring just 2:14 into the opening frame when he beat Peters five-hole with a backhand shot for his second goal of the season.
The Barracuda took a 2-0 lead at 12:01 when Marcus Sorensen picked up a centering pass from Nikita Jevpalovs and put the shot past Peters for his ninth goal of the season.
Ryan Carpenter slipped a far-side wrist shot past Peters for his seventh goal of the season, extending the Barracuda’s lead to 3-0 at the 11 minute mark.
“It (three-goal cushion) is always important,” Carpenter said. “It’s always nice to have a cushion…It makes it a lot easier to cruise to a victory.”
Shot attempts were 11-10 in favor of San Jose, who led 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Special teams made a difference in the second period.
Mark Olver was called for elbowing, giving the Barracuda the man advantage. Joakim Ryan beat Peters short side under the glove on the power play for his fifth goal of the season, expanding San Jose’s lead to 4-0 with 3:30 left in the middle frame.
“We just battled through,” Ryan said of the Barracuda’s recent losses. “Really tough losing three guys (Heed, Mueller, Bergman) like that. Three of our best defensemen. We just battled through and the guys stepped up.”
The Barracuda led 4-0 after 40 minutes, outshooting the Roadrunners, 25-21.
The defensive lapses had an affect on the Barracuda in the third period.
The Roadrunners ruined the Barracuda’s shutout bid 5:45 into the final frame as Stefan Fournier knocked in a rebound for his first goal of the season.
Lindsay Sparks drove the net, stopped in front and put a shot under Armalis’ blocker for his first goal of the season to cut the Barracuda’s lead in half at 9:01.
Patrick McNally scored an empty-net goal — his first of the season — to lead the Barracuda (17-8-1-3) to a 5-2 win over the Roadrunners (15-9-4-0). Armalis finished with 31 saves in a San Jose victory.
“I helped a lot” Armalis said. “Especially with how I haven’t played so much…It was nice to come out and help the team out.”
Adin Hill stopped 28 of 29 shots in relief of Peters, who allowed three goals on five shots in the first period.
Barracuda head coach Roy Sommer talked about his team winning Saturday’s matinee.
“We went through the same thing in Bakersfield,” Sommer said. “You get down three goals on a team that plays pretty good and doesn’t give up a lot of goals and is pretty hard to come back, especially if you play the night before. We got the start we wanted.”
The Barracuda return to action next Friday when they host the Ontario Reign at 7:00 pm PST on AHL Live and AM 1220 KDOW.